Saturday, 16 December 2017

This day I love

There is no truth more telling than a small child's eyes. As I watched you today, privileged to be your aunt & care for you whilst the necessities of labour & recovery are sorted, I saw a different boy emerge. How confident you are when her name is spoken. True to your word that you would kiss her all over & you will love her so much. I had the pleasure of being there when you first met your sister & what a divine moment that was. Truly struck by your mummy holding your sister with the greatest outpouring of "bubba" "mama" whilst you raced to climb the bed they lay on. Gentle as you could be with your sister. Words haven't caught your tongue yet but your eyes said it all Reggie. And in that, my joyful tears fall as you were so perfect. That moment was so perfect. For my dear brother & his wonderful fiance. For me, witnessing the blessing of new light in our family being absorbed by my sweet nephew. And today, waiting so patiently, so eagerly, to surprise mama with your cheeky face on her leaving the hospital. You were so animated by the thought of hiding & so knowing that your mummy would greet you with open arms, her first born. You are loved Reggie. So very much. Today was so wonderful.
And on to my darling Hollie. My lil Queen. Baby, you are immense. The smell of your tiny head with all that dark hair. The weightlessness of an angel in my arms. I cherish & adore you & I'm so very lucky to be your auntie. Christmas came early for us being blessed by you. What a champion your mama is. Her body nurtured you into a bundle of beauty of the most precious kind, like a rare diamond being formed in a far away place. Only one person will truly know the effort it took to give you your strength, your immaculate milky skin formed under her beating heart, your body created by hers. And wow, if I could I'd bottle the feeling I got when I saw your daddy hold you. So you could remember when you are older. How sweet it is to be snuggled by a man who is staring at his tiny daughter as if he has known her longer than anyone. The ease he had, you are & will always be so safe in those arms Hollie. Warning for the future though bubbakins. He cheats at games. He will most definatley tattoo any dolls & barbies you have & will for sure blame you for his reseeding hairline. All being said he will be your biggest cheerleader ever. Welcome lil miss Greenfield.
Here's a big, fat cheers to my family. To the mother & father who created this perfect angel & to the best big brother. 143

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Now is now

Here I am. Two years after being silenced on my own blog. Two years forward from the happy, heartfelt birthday post for my beautiful Queen Ducky when she turned eight. Unfortunately still with the same simmering frustrations & upsets.
Im not rebelling, Ive wanted to have my truths written for so long but anxiety over where it leads or what negatives it causes was too prevalent. But you know what, even without me aggravating, the contact with our beautiful babe has been fraught, inconsistent & sadly fractured each week. Im ready to write again as its cathartic & a release in the sometimes awful days we experience as a blended family.
We are very reliant on another persons control to tell us how our weekends will lead. If our hearts will be shattered by another denied visit or if we again have to sooth our son when an anxious wait at the door is soon realised to be a wasted trip. I cannot speak too much on what has occurred but in August my gorgeous fiancé became my husband. My forever & always. It was & is the most incredible love story of a time spent alone together in Vegas, marrying my amazing man. Just us, solo in our love adventure & so absorbed in each other for the first time ever as when I first met him he came with the sweetest bundle & we were instantly a family. Never did we take time for ourselves, it was always all about that lil blondie & very soon after our cherished boy. We adorn our children with all we could ever offer. Love being the biggest gift. They are our world & Gary & I parent so similarly that its always just been so wonderful. I know Im going off subject but its what is in my head. And quite possibly another catalyst as to why contact has been severed completely.
I have written about our struggles with contact before but have had to remove these posts. They were never derogative or mean. They were just frustrations & my truths written. I was shut down as a parent. A step mother yes but a mother all the same. But with no rights to a girl that owns my heart. I have been made invisible by a source who has no idea how scary it is to love someone who is so lost & alienated against my love given.
I came into Darceys life when she was a baby. She turned two & the access was abruptly denied. A court order was obtained after too many months apart. Along the way so much has happened that we cannot imagine a bandage big enough to repair the fracture. But regardless of what ill this brings on Gary & I as adults, we carry on. We pursue a better day, a better week. What I cannot move past & I hold such despair in is the fact that my son is so effected by someone who is so sinister in her actions. Her control. Im so desperate in the unknown. I don't know if Ducky is light hearted & happy. I can only assume she holds as much upset as our son does with the recent decline in access. So that just shatters my heart. She missed the biggest event for our family unity. We were denied any contact to celebrate our wedding & Ducky missed Jaspers seventh birthday as we have now missed her tenth. Its not at all about hearsay & who did what. I own my mistakes, Ive learnt from them & Ive always moved forward with the babes in mind. Not my insecurities or stubborn desire for karma. Because it wont get us anywhere if I react, if we react.  But I'll be honest, I lost my cool. I reacted to the most obscene, nasty episode & it has only accelerated the division. I endeavour to forgive myself but instinct implored me too act when a child was being hurt. Ive been cast as the monster & I can be brave & say this doesnt effect me, but of course it does. All the turmoil that this status brings is too cruel & unjust. All I have done is love ten fold. I created a family with a man that deserved a good wife, a good mother for his children. And I have been these. I am confident in that much*
For all those that know the situation, I adore you for the support. To my twin who has lifted me every single time, not just mentally but physically when I genuinely could not raise from the pain of yet more hideous accusations. My amazing mama & my sisters who have listened to hours of heartache, who have guided & loved my husband when I wasn't able to help him, too consumed by my own hurt. Who have raised my children with me with the biggest spirit. All my friends who just say 'I get you'. And now also friends from afar who have been so generous in their love & kind words for our family. It could be very easy to believe the untruths told about me, but you don't. You champion me as a mother to two babes not just the one I gave life to. It got us through & it will get us through**

And to you, the one who will read this & extract only what benefits you. Please take in your daughters presence. Look at her, those kind eyes, so deep & so searching. She is a decade of beauty & wonder. She is your first born. I ask nothing for myself, I wont even ask for you to consider my child in all this. But I beg you, please stop her sadness. Please give her spirit & love & life & above all her place in her family. By the book, she has two. But to her she has only one. A mother, a father, brothers & a sister. And a step mother. Nannas & grampys, aunties & uncles. Infact she was the first piece to a new generation. She is the front line of our children. The one they will look to when she is older & slightly wiser, the one they will all despair over when in a few short years the teenage throws kick in. Please read this with an image of her first day on earth in mind. She was moulded by you. I don't claim to own her. I helped you raise her, as did her wider family. We just want our ducky to be so very happy, content & well. You have the power for that to happen.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

numb

How could you say those words. Our hearts are absolutely shattered. This year has been a turning tide on our family. We have gone from so high in January to getting back to the 50/50 routine that was so brutally stopped last year to now this, the worst we have ever been. You being so anxious to be in our home, you convinced we just aren't your security & love but basically a pit stop when your mum is working. Its so insanely devastating. I hyperventilate at the thought of what we are going through. We have all shoved emotions down. We have all closed off to the true bullshit that is happening & not registered the control our family is under as it seems easier to deal with by ignoring. We've always held such worry & anxiety in how you are, your mental health being so fragile & you stating awful fears we dont agree with about what happens at your mums. All of which we cannot control and so have to try & help you make peace with. All of which as a family & individually we have strived so hard to help you overcome & accept as your place in this world. This is the most erratic stupid rambling but yet again we have been broken by you & your mum and i needed to release all that is in my head & heart as tonight its just so painful. But at the same time we are so adjusted to these stresses that numbness sets in & yet again we have to muddle through.
You had a turbulent day as your mum had not communicated a time to pick you up & we assumed it was the usual time. It wasnt in her mind & so she held us accountable again telling you untruths & making you yet again feel abandoned. We still however got you, just when our plans saw fit. Daddy was working & couldnt just come & get you. I was out. U were with your nan so in safe, happy environment. But we felt like we'd failed you & I guess you felt so too. Anyhow we had a wonderful evening on the beach, got savaloy & chips & watched a trapeze circus act on the green. Totally perfect happy times. You played so nicely with Jasper who just adores you & absorbs all you give him with such wealth of love. He is so in love with you, I just wish you could see we all are. On the way home you realised you were staying home with us & you got very cross & upset about this. You demanded we take you home, you demanded we ring your mum. You absolutely broke our hearts, I tried to reason with you as we hid Jasper in the lounge away from your tantrums. A little boy yet again devastated by your cruel words. I could hear the desperation in you daddys voice as he asked why you didnt want to be with your family. I reasoned with you & pleaded to see sense & gave you options. I was losing patience with your stubborn, mean words, Then you said it. You agreed you'd rather never see us again than stay with us the night. I left. Gary was sadder than I've ever seen. You still pleaded to go home. After a moment of reflection giving you time to calm down I again spoke to you with love & tried to make you see that we love you. We always have done. But i let you know as did daddy that this behaviour is beyond destructive & cruel & its not an option to just go home. You are home. Your anxiety & distress was huge when we said its time for bed. What the hell have you been told to make you not want to be here. What has been said & filtered into your brain enough to convince you our home is scary!!! I cannot believe the words that were coming out of you & im really struggling to imagine a time I will forgive you Darcey. We have always put you so high even when you have been hard & stubborn & pretty unkind. We have always done what is best for you even if it isnt always best for us or sometimes even our family. I had for over six months got you to & from school in a different town to where we live, without being able to drive & putting Jasper in breakfast club & after school clubs to suit this routine. How dare you after all we have done come back at us with you like your other home better. Your safe & happy there. I will say for certain right now Darcey you are making the biggest mistake of your life turning your back on us. You are not even yet nine years old and you have experienced way too much for such a young heart but we have always got you through it with our comfort & our love. Your mum has abused you< abused us & been a sour human. I know you will remember those times & in conjunction to remembering all that we have as a family, you are going to regret your words, You will see the photo albums on different shelves in different homes & question why your mum never gave you what we have given to you. Not materialistic & spoilt. Experiences, warmth, compassion, security, health, education, family days, days dedicated tou your childhood. All of what a parent should provide and more. Im not your mother but I have mothered you, You needed it. You truly needed saving & at one stage you begged us to keep you. So the change of heart & the foul statements from your mother to us over and over, the decline to communicate but then the anger once plans are wrong is just insane & we cannot keep having this sort of madness consume our happiness & well being. And under it all, under the stupid tears & cruel nasty hideous words, is just a very lost little girl that we so desperately try to grasp hold of & shove love into. Anyway we can. Be it a sneaky cup of coffee shared with me, or Jasper claiming his new toy he bought with his own birthday money is for you. Or Daddy dropping everything always to make sure his first born is always catered to. You have ruined a wonderful beautiful evening in our little family. And it for now is unforgivable Darcey. As much as I have watched your hurts & frustrations through the years, I now see also that you are trying to control us like your mum does. Its not going to stand.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

post from last week I didnt publish

Being a step mama, its the hardest thing in the world if Im truly honest. The positives are incredible but the negatives are soul destroying & I know people are quick to believe Im too involved or maybe even from my blog or photos believe I have it all together & maybe that's all Ive shown for so long. But its a bloody rollercoaster that's for sure. We have been so very lucky in that recently we were granted 50/50 custody of Darcey. We have her Saturday evening through to Wednesday morning & I am slowly, exhaustingly (haha)getting used to the double school run, in different towns, half an hour away. Thank fuck for breakfast club. Thankful also for my gorgeous auntie who has dedicated so much time to helping this schedule work for us. Its been immense waking up at 6am to have special moments with daddy, even just brushing their teeth alongside him makes Darcey feel more connected. Breakfasts & dinners together & Gary making it home early a few times to take the cherubs to the park for a kick about. All hearty soul food. All giving & brilliant. Until Darceys mood sees fit to rage. Whether its because her homework has not been started or even prompted & she then only has 2 evenings with us to complete before hand in day. Whether its because shes reminded to wash her hands after dinner or whether its because Jasper has the lego she desires. Pretty standard things for a kid to get cross or strop over I guess but her moods are vicious & so relentless. I fully believed that more time in a stable home would bring her happiness levels up but she has crumbled a little. Her emotions are always so strong when she is happy & content. Shes gorgeously loving to all her family & easy going. But when her moods hit, which can be right in the middle of a super happy time for her, she just is so destructive. It ruins her days as Im sure the negativity of her day is more memorable than her positives. Adventures are stunted & even the promise of a treat cant pull her out of a strop. She could be sullen & sad for hours & its like a switch is set to vacant & mute. Its so troubling to see & we have tried so hard to address this with her mum but to no avail so we have finally spoken with her school to see if she can have some help understanding her emotions & her temperament. Its always been a known with Ducky, its always been there & we deal with it when it arises. But just recently as we have had her so often I noticed the effect it had on Jasper, he just gets so frustrated that yet again Darcey isn't playing, her face is sad & she is stroppy. She can be very manipulative with him which worked in her favour when he was so little but now he has an understanding on her lil ways & he wont have it, so she is seeing for sure that she cant work him how she used to. At the park recently she was being cruel & blocking his way & he got so angry that he just burst into tears & when she straight away said she was so sorry he just screamed & shouted 'Leave me alone'. She knew she had gone too far & hurt one of her bestest friends & tried very hard to make the situation right. But I must say she finally realised he has a limit to her bullshit & she really did look sad she had upset him so much. I explained that if she starts controlling Jaspers happiness then big changes would be put in place as I am so not having his heart tarnished by negativity. I hate that there is a separation in upbringing for them. I hate that they are not from the same lives, they really are for days at a time, the most different of children. I dedicate every day to Jasper, I choose to, I love to & he is so deserving of my all. I do the same for her when she is with us but this is split & the care she has within her mums home is disjointed to our world. So I get her jealousy, insecurities & hurts. But I absolutely don't want anything but amazing memories for Jasper who isn't from a split home & doesn't need the troublesome emotions forced into his environment that is so easy. I don't mean to make it sound like anything other than what it is. Darceys frustrations & insecure behaviour hurt him. He only knows so much love here & when her fractured experiences from her other home absorb negativity into ours it is scary for us. I had an incredible childhood, carefree, loving & very blessed. So I have always promised that for my children. And I do that for always when Ducky is with us, but I cant touch her heart when shes away. I also cant change the hurt she feels when at each home she is always missing someone. At each home she feels abandoned by the other parent. Its such an unfair world for her & being more civil would help her & I would say her moods have become erratic again in the decline of our communication yet again with her mum. We try so hard to do best to benefit Darcey. I have put myself in positions people have told me are plane crazy just to insure she feels secure & happy. I have taken the extra time with Darcey & the hectic routine that followed in my stride & yet still feel slightly open & unprotected by the waves that hit. Im far too quick to believe in people. Im far too quick to believe kind words out of mouths that have said such vulgarities before hand. I want to keep my heart positive, but I am sure to get overwhelmed by my clear failings when things go wrong. Im very hard on myself & wont rest until these anxieties of hers & now mine settle. I trust that again we will be on top of Darceys upsets & she will have fewer days consumed by her stresses. But I do think that maybe additional help is needed for her to be able to express herself. She is hurting & its so hideous to acknowledge that of a teeny girl whos still so easily mesmerized by the thought of mermaid kissed stones & glitter fairies. She truly believes in Santa & that the Avengers are real, why cant she believe she is loved, why cant she know this with all her being. When its SO displayed by us?? Tbc...

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Ducky is 8

Its nearing 1am & I am not even tired, I have too much in my brain I want to set down here as it has been far too long since I wrote. And an occasion like the special day just passed definitely needs noting. Our sweet cherub pie Darcey doo turned 8. How is that even here already. I have known her since she was 20 months old, so little & chubby. So giggly & robust. So cuddly & warm. She is all legs now, nearly as tall as me, definitely taller than Jojo & Nanna!! We play dot to dot on her freckles & she has more big girl teeth than baby now. What a crazy journey, but wow what a for-filling one. Being a step mama to this cherub has been so hugely rewarding. Although the bad times have been so destructive the good far out-way it & I can honestly say even these days have made us stronger, closer & the hugs so much tighter. She has a way just now where her hugs have so much depth behind them. She hands them out often & they are the most sincere love she shows. I just adore her smiles with those great big teeth gleaming. The constant silly faces & strange poses when being photographed. The jokes she tells that are so unfunny they become funny. The beauty of her happy face when she has made us proud. Its so incredible to be so blessed in life by a sweet child I chose to love through loving my fiancé, he has given me so much in her & himself. Our family is so solid, our love is the rainbow behind every storm, so immensely huge in its qualities to heal. Together or divided I know she feels secure that our love for her is just overwhelmingly incredible. I love you will never be a huge enough statement to contain the feelings that go with thinking of our bubba Duck. 143 sweet girl. Happy birthday to you xx
 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Jasper turns five

I write this on the morning of your birthday waiting for you to wake so we can begin your exciting day of fun in London. I have Ducky behind me watching me type & marvelling at the speed in which I do. She is fidgety & impatient wanting you awake so she too can see your presents that are hidden behind rainbow wrapping & glitter sparkle tissue paper. You chose this yourself with cutest desire for "Something sparkly please mummy, like this." My thoughts are so scattered & as always on your birthday I feel emotional & so incredibly proud reminiscing on the wonderful year we have had. The year that you have had, as a four year old.
You have just started your summer holiday after completing your first year of school. What a ride that's been & how many friends you have by years out is just immense. You have been on a few school trips & had my heart pounding at your first 2nativity. You were confidently, preciously amazing. It's been a hard one at times for you too tho Studley. We had a few battles that you so valiantly destroyed. Whilst living through them, I was not so brave but you my incredible little bubble of love, you always pushed for positivity & love. You are my hero. You made our hearts fill up & spill over with pride & happiness every damn day of the struggles. You are my ray of sunshine & moonlight love. No word will ever be accurate to describe my love for you. No words or song or poem feels powerful enough. The feeling & blessing to be your mama is just astounding & incredible.  To get to write this post to you, my amazing son. I love & adore you Jasper. I happily say you are my everything.  The most beautiful, happy, fun adventure heart. ♡
Your awake now & have devoured your gifts dressed as 'Flash'. Saying "wow" to each one & squielling at the amount of pound coins lined in your card from your cuz Reggie. You have hugged the life out of your new wiggly centipede toy Max already. I have read your new book whilst you play & now it's all about Juggernaut. What a pace to live by. The happiest filled moments. Your truly are an angel studley. I love you. We love you. But hey you know that right!! Haha. Most cherished Bubb ever xxxx 143 birthday boy. ♡♡♡

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

ducky

My sweet lil cherub has gained confidence & smiles galore again. Im sure the changed access timing & schedule to suit her better & us to see her more has been a massive positive for our sweet girly. She has had a few changes happen that could of been a knock but seem to of occured for the better & this makes me super dooper happy to see her vibrant energy back once again. It still slumps a little with the knowledge of home time looming or the fact that she is aware she still misses important occassions even when its not celebrated until were with her like her daddys birthday back in May. She understands fully her divided home status & schooling etc but will still ask why she cant come. Comstantly having to tell her that plans were not agreed by her mum does upset her so we choose to white lie our way out of some of these such things. It makes her feel more comfortable to not know her mum has declined us extra time for an occasion as it then still creates a negative in her heart against her mother instead of us which obviously also does not sit well with us so we choose to alter truths to help Ducky. She is such a charcater, she is goofy & gangly & just so incredibly loving at the moment & I hope this is through being content. It must be such a struggle for a little to understand why when love is such an important thing in the world that her mum & dad dont hold that feeling between them anymore. To a child seeing love between parents is hugely comforting. I just hope she always in our presence feels strength from our love as her step mama & Daddy. She will grow to seek what her family give her & so I, we, will give her our all always. The massive leaps she is showing us is testament that not all broken families have broken children. She has struggled & Im sure there will be many times again that she will. But for now, our spoirited lil butter bean is awesome, happy, lovable & loved beyond measure. 
This week she enjoyed telling studley all about her cuts, bruises & scrapes as a four year old & we looked through old photos of her to show him the picture of her when she had scabs on the her nose just like him. She is nearly as tall as nanna. She learnt to catch a ball which i was kicking to her each time & we tallied 126 on catch which was massively hard considering she was giggling so much. She is so athletic naturally & totally took to the new swingball set Nanna spoilt them with. She read with me. She read to Jaspey. She wanted to hear the story of my first night staying with her at our home when she was a lil ninja barely two year old, who escaped from her cot & woke me in the morning for milk. I woke up to her face right by mine saying "Milk pwease" It scared the hell outta me & she loves this** She has been saving pocket money & can count it up & when we add more pennies she can also count this into pounds & pennies. She is already asking for things for her birthday. And planning her party!! haha x 143

#meandmine

I rarely get an oppurtunity of all of my Harrisons looking groomed, happy & in one place together with a friend or family member to play cameraman. The odd family selfie is okay but i find with these I get the green light from the cherubs for 3 seconds of smiles & then its eye rubs & fake grins from Ducky & an impatient Jaspey. It takes my man at least 10 frames before he stops looking like Chandler Bing in photos too so basically its always 'we try', its mainly 'we fail' haha. But this weekend we got to enjoy our favourite place with my brother & his girly & baby boy Reggie roo. They took pics of us & I of them.
 Alongside this we had a great afternoon stroll in the sunshine, fed the ducks & climbed chalk hills & trees. Swanbourne Lake is just magical for all its beauty & magic hidden in the roots of the trees we clung to to climb & the surrounding scenes of Arundel castle. Plus spending time with my dear family & sweet sweet nephew is so lovely. He giggled away happily, gorgeous little angel. Jasper & Ducky flocking him for cuddles & forehead kisses. Too flaming cute<3

Friday, 12 June 2015

sick day=the BEST day*

This boy, this seriously divine little creature that curls around my limbs & clings to my waist at the most inconvenient, rushed moments, who is being a little bossy & HATES brushing his teeth of late, is my life & soul. He is just such a love bug oozing happiness that I just wanna bottle up. He’s had such a tough week bless him. Friendship falling outs at four years old are painful & falling flat on your face off the obsta-track as he calls it (obstacle course) is also very painful. Poor love of mine. He has bruises & cut up his nose almighty so. I hope it wont scar on his gorgeous freckle spots! He is pretty impressed today at his brave attitude & has been asking for photos of himself over & over haha. I got a call yesterday from his school (always ALWAYS makes me feel overwhelming anxiety instantly) They said he had fallen & would I like to come & see him. I got up there in a flash & he was so brave trying not to cry but failing, I was holding my own tears in until I got outside. I gave him cuddles & explained Darcey done the same at his age & his cuts were way more army like, although she almost lost a tooth with her one!! His tooth actually has got a little wobbly of late so I should check that! Anyway he was wanting to stay for lunch as it was chocolate crumble day. Best ever right! When i picked him up it was more bruised but he was so energised & happy his playdate was still on. But after dinner he was showing signs the cuts were very sore & he was describing a headache. He got very upset about how his week had gone & in truth has been asking me each morning to stop going to school. It all came to a head & my lil man broke down. He needed a day of comfort & activities that were governed by him. He needed a sick day because even though the headache would pass & the sores weren’t too bad in the morning, he at four is too young to suppress such big emotions. So I took the day to spoil, comfort, hug & kiss, squeeze, giggle & hold hands for hours with this baby of mine. I am so glad I took this day for him. He needed it, he needed me. Blessed it is that I can stop time for him. Its an inconvenience I know to some but he really had such a magical day. We woke cuddling, he had breadsticks with yoghurt as dip for breakfast, he chose what he wanted to wear, he chose what he wanted me in too :) we went to visit his favourite tree in Beach House Gardens & he leaped from step to step in the brick work, i gave him confidence & independence in letting him run on ahead further than usual, he had McDonalds for lunch & sweets for the beach, we hunted for crabs under the pier & slowly walked the rock pools, he ran in the sea, as usual fully clothes, he chose a bottle of water as opposed to ice cream!! And we went to the park "For 15 hours please mummy!" Actually stayed for nearly three. He made two new friends & eventually got that ice cream. And to top it off he ate turkey dinosaurs for dinner whilst watching tom & Jerry back to back. It was his very own 'YES' day & he so deserved it. 
My lil love, my absolute heartbeat. I just cherish you sweetheart. The way you are so confident that you are so loved, you are so happy. "Mama Im still handsome even with my cuts!" What a boy. I just friggin adore you Jasper Casey. You make me so happy. That is it really at the end of the day. Me, Daddy, Sissy, all your family,  the world. You shine in our lives. You make us so happy. 143 sweet angel.  My greatest adventure, Jaspey Boo. xx 

oh & also he wore his belt as an accesssory around his waist like super heroes, wouldnt actually wear it to stop his lil jeans hanging low haha! And he keeps calling me lovely because Im always warm when he comes to snuggle in the morning, I think he thinks Im warm just for him haha! 

Saturday, 30 May 2015

this day i love*

It is Jaspeys last half term before the end of school year just now & although we have had a few easy chilled days we also had the greatest adventure, one of the best to date. We were due to be heading to London for the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the M.o.C & to visit the H.M.S Belfast museum with my auntie Juli but a rail strike made us alter plans. She instead suggested her favourite holiday spots to picnic & tour for the day in the New Forest with my nan joining us too. And it was INCREDIBLE!! One of the spots in Brockenhurst was where we had been last summer for a short break with my mum & dad & the wild ponies roam whilst you picnic. We played bat & ball, chase & ate heaps before heading for the three bridges walk that Juli knows well. It was just insane amazing. Tall trees shading the most beautiful river with Shetland ponies in the distance. The kids climbed a huge fallen tree & hurried over the bridge with my aunt playing the troll from Billy Goats gruff. We had her pooch Merlin with us & he was in the water straight away & no surprise my spirited cherubs followed him in. Waist deep in an instant running wild & free in this amazing space that was so energised & beautiful. I am such a tree hugger, I love nature & am so energised by the outdoors & random wild adventures. This was me in my element too. We found awesome dens built & the cherubs ran through crunchy leaves until we came to the next bridge which was wonderfully framed by sunshine beaming through the opening to more vast fields. There was families laughing & resting. But not overly crowded. It was just the most picturesc idealic location. And to top off the happiness we all felt, the stream was lined with fantastic huge strong trees that had rope swings hanging off them. Four in total but the biggest one was the best. It swung out over the water & was so expertly tied. It swung out so fluidly & both bubbas were not even close to being afraid to get on straight away. They trusted each other immeasurably, helping the other push off & swing high. Then me & Juju had a go. Best moment ever...haha. Reliving childhood memories is my soul food. Being silly, care free & fun, happy & spontaneous. It just felt so good. We collected sticks for a pooh stick race on the bridge, Jasper chucking a great log as his losing branch haha. Horses being ridden crossed the bridge whilst my babies in the water looked on adoringly. This place has my heart now. Its one of OUR spots. My children for sure will remember this trip. It was too immense not to. After our walk we got in the car & had a lil detour to see my nan & Juli's holiday cottage which was set in such beautiful grounds & had the most unusual gate house that was also used as accommodation which I really loved. Just so so pretty* Then we drove to Lefe Beach. It was just stunning. Warm weather & shoes straight off (mine getting left on the sand, I was just so enjoying walking the ground bare & free I forgot to collect them off the beach when we left.) It was directly opposite the Isle of Wight & was just again so scenic & a beautiful location. There was a park & green with view points across where you could see the Spinaker tower in Portsmouth & the edging of Bournemouth beach the other way. The park apparatus was actually really different & fun & Im still aching after trying to be 'cool mama' & hanging upside down on the bars & doing the tightrope! The journey home was cosey & cuddly with my two holding my hand & talking of their favourite part of the day. It was just such a positive, happy day & Im so very grateful for time with my awesome auntie & nanny. The cherubs just adore their great nanny & of course they adore great auntie Juju. She is silly, playful & so so funny & we all just love her entirely for her bonkers ways!!! We are so spoilt with love & adventure from our crazy duo. Perfect perfect day & perfect start of the summer warm weather. More of that now please :):) my toes really loved it haha!! 143


oh & forgot to mention. I fell in love with like ten homes & so many of them were adorned with Wisteria. I have never seen so much of my most favourite flower. I just adore the beauty of all the cottages & the showcase garden & florals*